Josh Sadler wrote -
The 12th Safaricom Marathon and Half Marathon will take place at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, 140 miles north of Nairobi on Saturday 30th June 2012. Organised by Tusk and supported by Safaricom this fundraising event will host 1,000 runners from over 20 different countries. The Safaricom Marathon is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world. However, runners of all abilities take part, from fun runners, walkers and amateurs, to professionals like Paul Tergat the Kenyan international and former world record holder.
The event is run through some of East Africa’s most beautiful scenery. Mount Kenya lies to the south and there are breath-taking views north towards Samburu and Mount Lololokwe. The heavily protected 65,000 acre wildlife sanctuary is home to over 100 rhino, herds of elephant and a vast assortment of plains game including zebra, giraffe, buffalo and much more.
There are two race categories; The Full Marathon, which is an individual event, and the Half Marathon, a team event, to which a minimum of five and a maximum of ten runners can enter per team. Both races start at 7.15am at the southern end of the conservancy. The course is set on dirt roads that take the runners on an undulating 21km course through the reserve, across savannah plains, along river banks and through acacia woodland before finishing close to Lewa’s headquarters.
Half Marathon runner completes one loop of the course, Full Marathon runners, two.
The impact of the event has been huge and the benefits are very tangible. Since its inception the event has raised over $2.5 million. Tusk and Lewa have always shared a common goal to use wildlife conservation as a catalyst to alleviate poverty, reduce conflict, and improve education and livelihoods in rural areas rich in biodiversity